Bring Back: The Rover 400 Tourer

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Tourer1When Rover’s 400 series arrived in 1990 it was a delicate cocktail – a heavy dash of Japanese design, a splash of French mechanicals, all bound together by some top-notch British build quality.

Another successful product of the union between Rover Group and Honda, the Rover 200/400 ‘R8’ family knocked the competition into a cocked hat and it quickly became a sales success. The diesel version borrowed its drive train from across the English channel and Peugeot, who a decade previous had established themselves as arguably the best producer of diesel engines in Europe.

When the 400 Tourer launched it was well received by the motoring media, carrying on the fine load-lugging tradition maintained by Austin’s Montego Countryman that had proved so popular throughout the 1980s.

After five successful years Rover and Honda replaced the 400 with the new Civic-based 400 saloon and hatch, though the Tourer’s popularity saw it survive for another three years, final disappearing from dealerships in 1998. Bizarrely when Rover worked with Honda on the follow-up 400 it chose not to include the Aerodeck estate, giving away a significant number of customers, many of whom had been loyal to the brand for twenty years. Rover would only offer one other estate in the history, the larger Rover 75 Tourer, which arrive in 2001.

Today, smaller estates are back in vogue with the likes of the Fabia Estate finding plenty of buyers – no doubt a small Rover Tourer could do equally as well…

One Response

  1. It wasn’t a matter of choice from what I heard; Honda would not let Rover built an estate/tourer variant of the Civic based car because they didn’t want the sales of the Aerodeck affected. With Honda’s relationship with Rover winding down, Rover built old R8 variants alongside the new model such as the Tourer, the Coupe and the cabriolet.

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